There’s more to Conneely than meets the eye!

Charlie Adley

Double Vision with Charlie Adley

Although others doubtless felt relief at the news of Pádraig Conneely’s retirement from politics, Double Vision lost one of its favourite foils. Over the last two decades, Podge and I have enjoyed gently upsetting each other.

My first encounters with Pádraig Conneely came on Friday lunchtimes in the early 1990s, when we both chose to hang out in the Connacht Tribune newsroom.

A smattering of editors leaned back on their chairs, enjoying a bit of craic, chatting about the latest news and scandal, while the floor vibrated beneath our feet, as presses and conveyor belts printed and assembled the newspapers below.

New in Galway, ignorant and curious, I wondered who was this strange man, sat with his feet up on a desk down at the end of the room?

With his with oiled hair and pinstripe suit, his face carried a world-weary scowl. He looked like a baddie from a black and white movie, but was he there to nick our news or feed it to us?

Editor Mike Glynn advised me that it was a bit of both; that he was some kind of unofficial PR for local Fine Gael.

When in 2004 I returned to Galway from North Mayo, I discovered that far from lurking in the shadows, Podge had now become the most visible figure on Galway’s political scene.

Obstreperous and obstructive, outspoken and on occasion plain vindictive, Podge made headlines each week by disrupting the council chamber.

His omnipresence in local media was clearly and blatantly down to self-promotion, and he was starting to drive a lot of people plain potty.

That’s when this colyoom told the people of Galway how I’d played ‘Podge’s Breakfast Bingo’, which entailed sitting at my kitchen table with a Full Irish on the plate and a pile of local papers.

To read Charlie’s column in full, please see this week’s Galway City Tribune.

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